Aastha Oncology Associates
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Does cigarette smoking cause cancer?
  Yes. People who smoke have a ten times greater chance of get¬ting cancer than people who don't smoke. Overall, smoking causes 30 percent of all cancer deaths. The risk of getting lung cancer from cigarettes increases with the number you smoke, how long you have been smoking, and how deeply you inhale. Smoking also has been linked to cancers of the larynx, esopha¬gus, pancreas, bladder, kidney, and mouth.
Although stopping is better, switching to low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes may reduce somewhat your risk of developing lung cancer if you do not inhale more deeply, take more puffs. or smoke more cigarettes than you did before you switched.
However, switching to low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes will not reduce your risks of developing other cancers and diseases, such as heart disease.
Animal studies also have con¬firmed that by-products (tar) produced by smoking marijuana
can cause cancers.
Once you quit smoking, though, your risks begin to decrease at once. The only way to eliminate your cancer risks due to smoking is not to smoke at all.
Do all tobacco products increase cancer risks'?
  Yes. Although people who smoke cigars and pipes are less likely to develop lung cancer than cigarette smokers. they do risk developing cancers of the mouth, tongue, and throat. Peo¬ple who use snuff and chewing tobacco also risk getting cancer of the mouth.
Will sunlight cause skin cancer'?
  Repeated exposure to sunlightover a long period of time has been linked to skin cancer. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays harm the skin. These rays are strong¬est from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. during the' summer, so that is when risk is. Fair-skinned people are at greater risk than dark-skinned people. TI1ey have less of a pif.,'l1lent called melanin in their skin to block some of the sun's damaging rays. The harm done is never fully repaired, even though the suntan or bum fades away.

You can protect yourself from the sun's rays and still spend a lot of time outdoors. Wear lightweight clothing but choose long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Wear a broad-brimmed hat or a ban¬dana. Use sunscreens. A number If) on the label means most of the sun's UV rays will be blocked out.
Can too many X-rays increase my risk of getting cancer'?
  Yes. large doses of radiation are known to cause cancer. Although you are exposed to very little radiation in a single X-ray, get¬ting many X-rays over a long period does increase your cancer risk . The hest practice is to dis¬cuss each X-ray with your doctor or dentist to learn if each is needed. If the X-ray is necessary. ask if X-ray shields can be used to protect other parts of your body.
Is there any association between estrogen use and cancer in women?
  Use of the hormone estrogen has been linked to cancer of the ute¬rus. Studies have shown that women who took large doses of estrogens for menopause symp¬toms have a greater risk of developing uterine cancer than women who did not take estro¬gens. Increases in risks to other cancers have been studied, but the results have been unclear.

The association of birth control pills with cancer risk has been studied. There is no conclusive evidence that cancer is caused by any pills now sold. Study results suggest, though, that the risk of breast and cervical cancer might be higher in some groups of pill users. Also, there is some evidence that pill users may have a lower risk of cancers of the uterine lining and ovary. Pill users should examine their breasts regularly and get regular Pap tests.

Today, estrogens for menopause symptoms and for birth control can be prescribed at very low levels. If you are taking estro¬gens, you can help protect your¬self by discussing dose levels with your doctor.
Will on-the-job exposure to .&:. cancer-causing agents increase the risk of developing cancer?
  Exposure to some industrial agents increases cancer risks. The kinds of workplace substan¬ces that cause cancer can be divided into three broad groups: chemicals, metals, dusts and fib¬ers. Only a small number of agents in these groups actually cause cancer. They do damage by acting alone or, probably more often, by acting in combination with another workplace carcino¬gen or with cigarette smoke. For example, studies have shown that breathing in asbestos fibers creates an especially high risk of lung disease and cancer. The risk is extremely high for workers who smoke. In fact, some scientists suggest that the main carcinogen in the work¬place is the cigarette.
Regulatory agencies, industries, and organized labor have devel¬oped health and safety measures related to hazardous exposures in the workplace. Some measures cover individual safety. You can help protect yourself by knowing and following such worksite health and safety rules. If pro¬tective clothing or equipment (masks, respirators, coveralls, gloves) are recommended or required for your job, wear them.
Do bumps. bruises, or other injuries cause cancer?
  No. Injuries to the body cannot cause cancer. Sometimes. treat¬ment for an injury leads the doc¬tor to find a cancer that had existed before but had not been noticed.
What can I do to reduce my chances of getting cancer?
  You can reduce your cancer risks by limiting or avoiding exposure to or. use of cancer-causing agents. You can help protect yourself.
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